Struggling with Depression

I am taking a break from writing about fun stuff like failed relationships, RVing, reality TV and my hatred of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m going to discuss my life a bit and a one-time battle I had with what I figure is depression. I’m going to tell you what I believed triggered it, what happened while I was fully into it and what got me out of it.

I had a telephone discussion with an ex. Mistake because she blames me leaving her for the misery she finds herself in these days. In fact, she finds great pleasure in letting me know all the crap she’s been through is not a result of her refusal to work full time like us savages, but due to the lack of support I gave her. Ok. Normally that wouldn’t  bother me, but this session was different. She blamed me for her not having any children. She told me she wanted to have three children and now she’s too old to have any (she is).

That made me feel bad. Then I thought sticking around her essentially ended my family line. She didn’t say so, but getting pregnant would have been difficult for her. And the fact of the matter is if she truly wanted to have a kid, we would have. Bottom line, you generally start kids with intercourse, and we weren’t having it. At least not with each other.

Anyway, I thought more about it until I could barely do anything. I would go to work, come home and get right into bed. I would lay there and let these “waves of blue” crash into me. Only after talking to a friend did I realize what was happening. She suggested I go see a therapist, which I did not. I was barely functioning but hardly anyone knew.

What got me through it? My cats. I did not always like cats. In fact, I never wanted to be around them. My cats took care of me. One of our cats would curl up next to me while I was in the fetal position. He would sleep next to me and purr. Our other cat, the anti social one, soon became much more friendly. Before long, both of them would come upstairs, get next to me and purr while my life was going into the tank.

Thats why I’m going to cry like a baby when my cats go. I really really owe them.

What snapped me out? Nothing in particular except a desire to get out of the pity party. I did. It was time to stop feeling sorry for myself and start doing something.

Not everyone can do that. Hardly anyone can do that. It’s very hard. Depression is a mo—- f—-r. It can hurt you badly.

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St. Louis Rams Going Gunning

Nothing has changed.

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I mentioned I had total disdain for the Denver Broncos. Another team I don’t like, even though they’re not in my team’s division or conference, is the St. Louis Rams.

The Rams go gunning for other team’s players.

I saw a couple of hits Buccaneers player took, including Jameis Winston getting roughed up and shoved around IN FRONT OF AN OFFICIAL and it’s clear: Gregg Williams and Jeff Fisher have their defensive players gunning for other teams players. I’m not the only one to say that, either.  Mike Zimmer called out Jeff Fisher for his team’s dirty play. Rodney Harrison, an expert on dirty play provided this bit of insight when he played against one of Fisher’s teams , tweeting after the Rams KOed Teddy Bridgewater:

“typical of Jeff Fisher type teams.”

After this dirty hit by the Rams on Odell Beckham Jr., all hell broke loose:

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Still, Beckham…

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Dirtiest Team in Football

We once did a piece on how the Broncos would be the dirtiest team in football if it weren’t for the St. Louis Rams.

Well, they are the Los Angeles Rams now, and they are still the dirtiest team in football.  Just saw Alex Ogletree put a late hit on Jameis Winston and actually get flagged for it. It was a cheap shot and there was little doubt Ogletree meant to do it.

Jeff Fisher must have personal files on NFL and team ownerships. How that guy, who has had minimal success over his entire coaching career keeps a head coaching job is beyond me. Gregg Williams encouraged players to go after key body parts to cause injuries. He shouldn’t even be in professional football.

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Yellowstone #1: The Park

This is the first of the 4 part series. As you all know, Yellowstone is a large national park in northwest Wyoming, with portions in Idaho and Montana. We visited all three states while we were there. Let’s show you Yellowstone so you can get an idea of what you’re facing:

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You’ll note Yellowstone’s roads consist of spurs coming off what appears to be a rough figure 8, the Grand Loop. Our goal was originally to visit a quarter of the figure 8 per day, and go out the spurs later. We revised this once we determined we could visit more quickly.

Day 1: Mammoth Hot Springs. We visited Canyon (our favorite), went to Tower for lunch, Mammoth Hot Springs, then went down past Norris, Canyon and back to Fishing Bridge.

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Yellowstone River

Day 2: Old Faithful to West Yellowstone, into Montana and Idaho

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Old Faithful

Day 3: Northeast Entrance. We saw bison, a pronghorn and mountain goats. Actually I never saw the goats until we did the photos. I took a shot at a white dot. The dot turned out to be two mountain goats. They were no less than 3 miles away.

Have you noticed I don’t give away my best photos? I used to put my best photos on Facebook, but they used them to advertise that site. I quit Facebook for that reason.

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Lamar Valley

Day 4: West Thumb/South Entrance/Grand Teton/Jackson – this was a really long day, we ended up driving about 230 miles. We almost didn’t get back in time to make dinner. Still we ended up visiting Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, WY, Mormon Row, Cunningham Cabin, and various points opposite the rugged peaks of the Tetons.

 

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Day 5: We had been on every main road in the park, except a 5-mile stretch to the north from Mammoth Hot Springs to the (Roosevelt) entrance. We knew that was going to be on Day 6, so we took another tour by the Canyon. We also visited the Lake region.

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Lake Hotel

Day 6: Wildlife Day. We chose to get up early and check out animals around dawn. Most of the animals didn’t cooperate. This loop took us out the Roosevelt entrance, into Montana and then back down past Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris geyser basin, Canyon and back to Fishing Bridge.

 

Day 7: Our shortest day was to Grant Village. We visited there, drove back out towards the East entrance. We were getting snowfall, so we chose to return before getting to the Sylvan pass.

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Day 8: We completed the bottom of the Grand Loop. I wanted to see Old Faithful again, so we did that, circled back out to Madison, Norris, one last stop at Canyon where I descended 600 feet to get some GREAT Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River shots, then back down to Fishing Bridge. We packed and left the next day. Altogether, we drove 1075 miles. Unfortunately, we didn’t go 1/2 mile from any road. The park rangers told us 90% of Yellowstone visitors don’t go further than 1/2 mile from a road, sad for what should be recognized as wilderness.

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RVing to Yellowstone

Before discussing Yellowstone itself, we’re going to talk about the logistics with respect to getting there. For an RVer, it’s a massive undertaking. For me, it was the hardest move of anything since moving to California from Georgia. Understand this: getting to Yellowstone from the eastern or southern  U.S. is much harder than going from the West Coast because it’s simply a remote region of the country. My friend, let’s call him “Don” says it’s a 1.5 day trip for him. For us coming from south Texas, it was three days. Let’s put it this way: We started 150 miles from Mexico, and ended 370 miles from Canada. Thinking about it that way, maybe we should have put Glacier on the destination list. Maybe 2017. We didn’t even have to get over the Bighorns, a mountain range between northeastern Wyoming and Yellowstone, but did have to endure the Absaroka range.

660 of our 1521 mile route to Yellowstone was through Texas, the least exciting portion of our trip. The Llano is boring. We ended up staying in Amarillo, TX. Of the “fun” facts, we used Interstate 10, 20 and 40 on the first (and last) day of our trip, three of the East-West long haul highways in America. I believe Illinois is the only other state where that’s even possible. I would recommend making your reservations a week in advance. You want to be able to reach your destination, and you want to be able to stay where you plan to go. We figured 500 miles or so in a day was a good pace for towing a vehicle. As it turned out, our destination RV park, Amarillo Ranch was totally full both times we arrived. Amarillo Ranch is stereo-typically Texan and proudly portrays itself as such. It even offers free shuttles to the “Big Texan”, a place where you can attempt to eat a 72 oz roast along with sides for free in one hour. If you exceed one hour, you get a hell of a bill.

We stayed on F.E. Warren AFB in the Fam Camp for our second night. This location is a destination in itself. F.E. Warren is a intercontinental ballistic missile base, meaning there is not much happening on the base itself. The silos are scattered across the region, so most  activity is out there. F.E. Warren is beautiful, with antelope in the protected environment of a military installation. This means the wing commander there considers them HIS antelope, which means if you harm them, you’re the worst human being ever … AND you’re done for career-wise. The sky was glorious,  with little light pollution so it was as clear as Yellowstone at night. F.E Warren on the other hand, offers the minimal services you could expect on an military installation, meaning while there is a commissary, it happened to be closed on the day we left.

The final day was the shortest distance-wise, but the hardest; getting across central Wyoming is no joke. Up to the point we reached Casper, I was making 12.3 mpg of diesel. After departing Casper, that number went to 8.1 mpg. You’re trying to make time against the prevailing wind, which is more of a crosswind. Make no mistake, Wyoming is a huge state and a huge challenge.

If you RV into Yellowstone from the east, you must stop at the Cody Walmart. If there’s anything you’re going to need, get it at Cody going in because it’s going to be a tremendous pain in the ass to get otherwise. Here’s something you might read but find hard to believe: It’s 70 miles from Cody into Fishing Bridge RV park. Its *** essential *** to get reservations at Fishing Bridge, it makes the park that much easier to visit. Did you just see where I wrote its 70 miles from Cody to Fishing Bridge? That means it’s 100 miles to Old Faithful. 120 miles to Mammoth Hot Springs. 200 miles to Jackson. Those are one-way trips folks — across Sylvan Pass, at 8531 feet. They closed Sylvan Pass one day while we were there. While West Yellowstone MT is a possible destination for RVers, consider Canyon is a day trip from there. From Fishing Bridge, we would visit Canyon to get ice cream and look at bison along the way.

Did I mention its essential to stay at Fishing Bridge RV Park? This park offers very little in the way of amenities but is in the center of Yellowstone. We drove about 1100 miles in our eight days in the park.  Consider this: If we had spent 8 days commuting from the park from Cody, that would have been over 1100 miles alone. Fishing Bridge does not have television at ALL, meaning not even over the air TV. It does not have WIFI, meaning you are internet-less. One cool feature we had was a Verizon Wireless hotspot. I knew there was no WIFI but I also know of all providers, Verizon does the best job of service. We did have internet and although it was slow, we knew something about what was happening outside the park.Yellowstone chooses to be communications-less. They sent a message about the South Entrance closing to all phones in the region, even though they had no service.

Two other features about Fishing Bridge: One section of the RV park is in terrible condition. By terrible, I mean potholes. They told us a contractor in charge of resurfacing the roads had pulled out. Then I found out the same excuse is made annually. The cleanliness of the RV park. The facilities are fairly well maintained, except for those roads.

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Fishing Bridge RV Park (and potholes)

The RV park also advertises a 2100 hours exhibit in the amphitheater hosted by U.S. Park Service Rangers. These are interesting and reveal the extreme knowledge held by the Rangers.

 

 

 

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Yellowstone Part #0

I just returned from eight days at Yellowstone Park.

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I will reveal the details of the trip in four parts.It’s going to be as much fun for you as it was for me!

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Directv’s Immobility

Ok, I bought this Directv dish from an unnamed company with the word “Oasis” in their name, so I could take television mobile. You know, so I could get the programming I pay a ridiculous amount of money to receive, when I’m not at home.

Surprise, the single time I’ve gotten the damn thing to work is in my garage.

First, they give you a tool that’s supposed to squeal when you have it pointed correctly. I’ve had the thing pointed correctly numerous times and it still does not work. 

Next, they give you a “military grade” compass. If that pile of shite was military grade, Washington would have still been trying to cross the Deleware. The thing points north wherever you turn it.

You have to reprogram your HD receiver so the thing even knows where you are. You must also contact Directv so they know where you are. Good luck if your dry camping or off in a remote region of the US.

Finally, the setup does not work with your RV unless you have cabling without any other connections. Meaning it won’t work without a dedicated RV connection.

You can buy a dish that automatically points so you can get HD programming. The issue is, it costs $1300! 

Dish is more reliable and works with RVing much better. 

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Same Old Raiders

Watched the Raiders last night against the Tennessee Titans. One of the broadcasters in last night’s game stated he expected the Raiders to make a move in the division … next year. I was inclined to agree.

As a matter of fact, looking at this team last night, I am reminded of a discussion with a friend of mine last week. I “predicted” the Raiders would go 9-7 … or 4-12, based on their inability to resolve whatever was going on with Derek Carr. Carr did not play well down the stretch, even in games the Raiders won. The unfortunate thing about Carr’s late season performance is, it coincides with a substance that has derailed careers: game tape. 

I know Raiders fans, Amari Cooper hurt his foot. Rodney Hudson and Austin Howard suffered injuries. Still, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater had far worse lines to play behind, yet were still effective.

This Raiders team hasn’t looked a bit different than those Raiders from late last season, even with the multiple free agents brought in to bolster the roster. The team looks undisciplined, picking up more penalties than normal. Another annoying fact; the Raiders defense has been pummeled to start off these exhibition games. Eddie Lacy and the Titans multi-runner attack pounded them in back-to-back games.  It’s reminiscent of those Raiders teams over the past decade. 

Once again, I know, it’s exhibition season. But there’s a reason some teams like New England seem to win no matter what. Meanwhile, some teams like the Raiders get gashed by RB of the week in preseason, then do it throughout the regular season. Losing is a habit.

If you think losing in preseason is okay, you don’t realize your team is supposed to try to win every game.

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